French press review 9 November 2012
Economic, political, historical and social matters hit the front pages this morning.
Le Monde discusses China, the other superpower changing the guard this week with the coming to power of the “red prince" Xi Jinping and a new generation of leaders.
“Things have taken a turn for the worse” between the Socialists and the Communists, crows Le Figaro. The conservative newspaper narrates how annoyed the ruling party is with the defiance coming from its allies after they joined the opposition UMP in the Senate in opposing the 2013 budget.
Le Figaro takes its readers down memory lane, recalling how in 1922 Communist Party chief Albert Treint incited his party to pluck the feathers of the Socialist rooster. Now, “90 years later, it is François Hollande’s turn,” says the paper, “to settle scores with the old French Communist Party whose cadaver is still shaking”.
According to Le Figaro, this is indeed a golden opportunity for Hollande to wipe out the Communists’ “nuisance capacity” and finish off the work started by François Mitterrand in 1980. The moment couldn’t be better, Le Figaro believes, as the last word on the future of this bill lies with the National Assembly where the Socialists hold an absolute majority. For Le Figaro, it’s a privilege the ruling party hasn’t enjoyed since Mitterrand’s first term from 1981 to 1986 when, he and the Socialist Party's then-leader Lionel Jospin last had to deal with the cumbersome ally.
L'Humanité says it won’t be intimidated by the bullying coming from Socialist Party. The Communist Party daily takes another snipe at the government, pointing out that it can’t even reverse Nicolas Sarkozy’s high-handed decision to commemorate all of France’s wars on one single day, 11 November.
The “anti-Islam crusade” taking place in France is Libération’s front-page story this Friday. The paper claims that “rampant Islamophobia” has forced French Muslims to seek guarantees from Hollande. Libé reports that on Thursday Muslim leaders delivered a formal letter to the head of state on Thursday asking him to issue a statement condemning the dangerous slide.
Les Echos takes the veil off a battery of fiscal weapons perfected by government to dissuade companies from relocating abroad. The business newspaper publishes a survey showing strong opposition to the government plan to raise France's standard rate of Value Added Tax VAT 19.6 to 20 per cent from 1 January 2014.
An intermediate rate currently applied at 7.0 per cent will rise to 10.0 per cent at the same time while the minimum rate will be cut however from 5.5 to 5.0 per cent. A survey carried out for Les Echos shows that six out of 10 French citizens oppose the VAT increases.
Aujourd’hui en France /Le Parisien welcomes a deal struck by striking workers and managers at the Bricorama group over opening their shops on Sunday. The paper says the main workers’ union, Force Ouvrière, has agreed to end their industrial action and work an extra day per week after management agreed to pay them a 13th month of wages every year.
La Croix takes us on a guided tour of northern Pas de Calais region. That is where the government is set to launch a vast project of new energies development and industrial transformation based on ecological innovation networks, according to the Catholic newspaper.